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When you think of the great wine regions of the world, you probably think of travel destinations like Northern California, Italy, and Argentina, but Australia happens to be a growing wine region that has a long history. One of the best regions for wine is Victoria, and more specifically the Yarra Valley, which is the pioneer of Victoria’s bustling wine industry. The history of wine making in the Yarra Valley dates back nearly 200 years to the early 1800s. Today you’ll find wineries spread throughout the region along the Yarra River and amid the rolling hills.

There are many reasons that the Yarra Valley is such a great wine region, one of them being because of its temperate weather. The cool temperatures along the Yarra Valley make it ideal for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot are also produced here.

One of the strengths of this wine region is the wide-variety of wineries in the Yarra Valley, as there are nearly 100 wineries spread throughout the region. You’ll find distinguishing characteristics that set each of them apart. Many of the wineries also feature fine dining establishments, where you can make a day of drinking wine and eating. Some of the wineries, such Wild Cattle Creek, even have their own accommodations. While some may just do a day trip from Melbourne, I recommend a weekend in the Yarra Valley to get the full experience and take in the scenic beauty of the region.

With nearly 100 wineries, the Yarra Valley is chock-full of wine tasting and food pairing events. However, you’ll also find a variety of events taking place throughout the year, including the unique Shedfest Wine Festival, which just concluded its 9th year this past October. This is a unique festival in that local wineries set up along the Warburton Highway and literally serve wine out of sheds. The event also includes food from local restaurants and live music, so make sure you pack your dancing shoes.

What’s your favorite wine?